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Home Buyers Fair: Your first step to owning a home

Presented by:
Bank of Hawaii

James Moniz For many, home buying can be discouraging, and attaining homeownership sometimes feels out of reach. With the news of record home and condo prices month after month reported by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, it’s no wonder that some families and individuals keep renting, with aspirations to buy. That’s why on Aug. 19, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Locations and Bank of Hawaii are teaming up to sponsor the fourth annual Hawaii Home Buyers Fair.

“Getting closer to homeownership starts by consulting with an expert, knowing what programs a family qualifies for, determining a budget for saving and the price range of homes a family could buy,” said James Moniz, Bank of Hawaii’s executive vice president of Mortgage Banking. “There are various ways to structure financing, regulations and guidance that we adhere to, but our loan officers are solution-oriented to help buyers navigate the process. We want to help people attain their financing goals and ensure they are comfortable with the entire transaction.”

Despite the increasing values, developers like SamKoo Pacific LLC work tirelessly to get through the entitlement process required for approval on a new building to be sold as affordable housing.
“We have been meeting with the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHF- DC) to obtain exemptions and expedited processing for our next building,” said Timothy Yi, president of the company. “Our first tower under construction is expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2018. We experienced very high demands with 1,300 applications submitted to be eligible to buy one of the 292 affordable units.” SamKoo Pacific’s second tower, tentatively named The Central, is proposed to include 500 units and will be located at 1391 Kapiolani Blvd.

Kapiolani Residence, together with Stanford Carr Development’s Keauhou Place, Howard Hughes’ Ke Kilohana and other recent additions to the urban core of Honolulu are helping to bring housing options to the community.

“It’s amazing how quickly a new condo can fill with residents once the build is complete,” said Moniz. “The supply of new homes to market simply can’t meet the demand. Without the efforts of these developers, homeownership would be even harder for many to attain.”

Experts say that Hawaii’s cultural acceptability of multi-generational families under one roof is how first-time homebuyers live in order to save up for a down payment. Moniz also added, “The people of Hawaii are resilient and sacrifice so much to realize homeownership. Bank of Hawaii is proud to do more residential loans than any other lender in Hawaii.”

At this year’s Hawaii Home Buyers Fair, both Locations and Bank of Hawaii will host seminars to get attendees educated as well as offer one-on-one prequalification opportunities. The bank seminars include a panelist discussion with a Realtor, loan officer, appraiser and tax accountant. And for families considering to downsize from a larger home to a condo, there will be a sellers seminar. Besides the title sponsors, other exhibitors will be there to provide a one-stop shopping experience, making the time well spent at the fair.

The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and is located at the Hawaii Convention Center. For more information on the bank’s seminars or to get loan program and rate info, visit

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